Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Month And Four Days After I am Hired...

So day three of this week nothing major happened, as far no offensive comments or emails. In fact, I would rather forget the past two days. I guess I should back up and tell you what happened the next day (Tuesday) post the “email”. One other manager (not one of mine) had a male visitor drop by her office and he had his son with him. The little boy happened to be playing right outside her office door when I walked by so I started playing with him. At this point the guy and the manager were heading out of her office after the little boy. So I am standing with the kid and she says to her friend “ this is Serena Williams or is it Venus?” The guy says: Maybe you mean Serena she’s prettier of the two.” At that moment I ignored her damn comment smiled at the child and walked away in amazement.

I was offended for a few reasons: 1. You don’t know me like that to give me a “nickname”. 2. Don’t call me anything other than my name when “introducing” me to people. We had a property managers meeting within 10 minutes of this happening so I had to let this simmer for a while and pretend everything is all good. So here we are the next damn day experiencing the raft of people’s badass judgment when it comes to relating to people who don’t look like you. Again, I am not saying her intent was to be malicious. It’s just a classic case of NOT thinking before you freaking speak.

I went to HR, after 2 consecutive days of this bullshit I had to put this on record. I was fair when I spoke to the HR Director; I said I don’t think they meant real harm. But I do think they are getting a little too comfortable with me and they don’t know me like that. She asked how I wanted to handle the situation and I told her I didn’t want any drama just make note and I am moving on. (that was the end of the day Tuesday).

Today our senior VP called me to his office, the HR lady told him what was going on in his department. He again asked if I was okay and he wanted me to feel comfortable talking to him about anything. But in all honesty, I didn’t want this to blown out of proportion and I am not the ultra sensitive black woman you can’t joke with,lol. But I do need grown people to use your head and not be so thoughtless when it comes to interacting with different people.

6 comments:

chele said...

Had it been me, I would have responded with: "Calling me Michele will be fine." And then I would have walked away.

In any given day we can find one million things to offend us. We've got to learn to pick our battles and decide what is really worth fighting over.

Smile Star said...

I've been reading your blog long enough Ms. Confessions to know that if something comes up as wrong on your radar, that you will address it. I've always admired your strength. You always use good judgement and discretion.

The previous post regarding the Obama email sounded wrong, especially when distributed by a manager. Further, I meant to ask you if she used COMPANY EMAIL to transmit her little joke. I know you're in Bush country, but still...that was not work appropriate.

I don't think that you are being overly sensitive or thin skinned or angry. I believe that your previous work experiences have led you to this point where you are protecting yourself. As always, keep shining!

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

lovelyjd said...

Dammit! I hate that people feel they can say anything they want to in the work place. But as someone who has been in the corporate game for a minute, you can push back in a non threatening way. For example, I have natural hair and I wear it in a medium sized fro. My white boss felt he could tell me his feelings on hair. He was like..." Don't ever get dreadlocs, they are dirty and they stink." I looked him in the eye, threw back my head and laughed loudly and said in my sweetest Claire Huxtable voice, "That's because white people's hair can't sustain locs. So I would expect that HIS hair was dirty and smelly."
He chuckled with me for a minute and then moved on. I said it very pleasantly.

I'm with Chele, flip their wackness back on them. They'll start to realize that they can't just say things to you because you are going to have some smart response that is going to take the heat out of what they are saying. It's no fun for them if you end up getting the last laugh.

Opal said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now but never commented.. I just feel I need to chime in on this on....

First and I tell people this all the time...

when you are on the job you should always keep it strictly business... I know the urge to chit chat and share some of our personal life with the folks on the job can be strong at time...but that is a no no....

There are folks that get quite comfortable with that type of thing and thats when the respect issues come in...

When people get comfortable around you they tend to feel its ok to joke with you and say any freaking thing to you that comes to mind...

The less a person knows about you.. they will think twice about the ish thats comes out of there mouth... because they don't know how you will respond.....

Always keep it professional and pleasant..no need in breaking bread with these folks on the job....

They will take what they know about you and use it against you....

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hi there!

I think that you should have mentioned to the VP the specific incidents and mentioned WHY they were offensive and after the meeting, you should have prepared a memo addressed to him stating, "Pursuant to our meeting, I would like to document our discussion below and outline some suggested action steps..."

This puts him in check in a professional way and you can send a copy to HR.

You will need that type of paper trail if you ever get fired for "not being a fit".

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